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Top 10 Reasons to Attend the German American Festival

Join the fun as Toledo’s oldest and largest ethnic festival kicks off the fun Aug. 27-29, 2021!

Join the fun as Toledo’s oldest and largest cultural festival kicks off the fun Aug. 27-29, 2021! The German-American Festival has been promoting the German and Swiss cultures and providing a great time for visitors of all ages for over half a century. Since there are so many unique offerings that keep people coming back each year, here’s a compilation of some of the top reasons why you cannot miss the 55th German-American Festival. Read on and enjoy. Prost!


1.  The Setting

We’ve all been to parking lot festivals with minimal seating and atmosphere. Not so at the German-American Festival. Set in Oak Shade Grove, this 94-acre park setting is comfortably shaded by mature oak trees. The park size and festival layout allows guests to find their own space without feeling crowded.

Pro Tip: Plenty of free, lighted parking is available with people movers to deliver you easily to the main entrance gate on Seaman Street.


2. Two Words: Potato Pancakes!

These genuine potato pancakes, made the old German way, are so good, they may have you going back for seconds. Made to order, they are served up piping hot with a side of apple sauce or sour cream.

Pro Tip: Make sure to purchase your food and drink tickets first before heading off to the potato pancake or other food or drink booths.

3. The Food   

The potato pancakes are only the start to the ridiculously long list of tasty treats available. Enjoy German favorites like, Schnitzel sandwiches (a German classic), ham shank, bratwurst, homemade potato salad and landjäger. Don’t miss the indoor/outdoor Swiss Essen Haus bakery featuring many types of European-style and imported cheeses, breads and meats.

Pro Tip: The Swiss Essen Haus features the Vienna Café to relax and enjoy all the great food.


4. The Weingarten

You’ll want to carve out some time to hang in the Weingarten. Find yourself a picnic table and enjoy live music and German dancers throughout the weekend.

Pro Tip: This is the spot to sample a variety of easy drinking German wines – including Auslese, Spätlese, Piesporter and Riesling.


5. Beer! Lots and Lots of German Beer!

Now we’re talking! What’s a German festival without beer? You will find an astonishing selection of German beers with plenty of new ones to try out for the very first time. Enjoy lighter styles like Kolsch and Marzen or if dark lagers are your thing, then Bock and Dunkel are for you. There’s plenty of wheat selections as well. Prost!

Pro Tip: Pick up a card at any of the beer booths and collect seven stamps to earn your very own German-style beer glass.


6. Desserts Galore!

After you’ve walked off some of the German food and beer, it’s time to head to the Swiss Essen Haus for the homemade pastries including Kuchen, strudels, cookies, pies, cakes, brownies, and tarts! Don’t forget the cream puffs, ice cream and funnel cakes located by the VIP Clubhouse.

Pro Tip: Dessert favorites, like strudel, will run out first. Arrive early and get your treats to go!


7. Shuttle Service

The German-American Festival makes it safe and easy for guests to get to and from the festival. For a small fee, get a pick up from one of the following locations throughout the Toledo area. A bonus? Hollywood Casino Toledo offers free shuttle service to and from the festival!

Pro Tip: In the interest of public safety, Black & White Cab and the German-American Festival are teaming up. The taxi area is located at the east gate by the bus pickup.


8. German Activities & Contests

Dust off the lederhosen and bring your appetite for fun. The German-American Festival offers a variety of fun-filled activities and contests to help you celebrate, German-style! Activities include:
Steinstossen – Authentic Swiss stone throwing contest
Masskrugstemmen – Bavarian mug lifting contest
Soccer Tournament – Matches between Bavarian Sports Club Teams
Brezelessen – Join the Brezelessen (pretzel eating) competition!

Pro TipCheck website for all the details including registration information, sign-up fees and waivers.


9. Family Friendly! 

There are plenty of activities to entertain and amaze your young ones. Bumper cars, a super slide, funhouse, Ferris wheel and merry-go-round are just a few of the fantastic rides your kids will enjoy.

Pro Tip: Check out the M.I. Hummel Look-A-Like Contest for all children between the ages of 2-10 (by pre-application). The contest is the longest running contest of its kind in the U.S.


10. It's lots of FUN!

New this year, you can enter the 54th German-American Festival Raffle. Tickets can be purchased at the festival until 8 pm on Sunday, Aug. 25 or online at until

Whether of German heritage or you come from the opposite side of the world, whether you're 3 or 73, it truly doesn't matter - the German-American Festival is just a plain old good time.

Pro Tip (for those of age): Yell Prost! with pride as you lift your boot full of beer high into the air and have a great time at the 55th German-American Festival!


We've come up with our top ten but check out the festival for yourself and let us know what your favorite part was!

Share your memories with us @ToledoCVB on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and don't forget to use #ThisIsToledo and #GAFtoledo.

For more information visit and @GAFSociety on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for great content and updates on this year's festival.

Festival Hours | Friday: 6 p.m. - 1 a.m., Saturday: 2 p.m. - 1 a.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Location | Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road, Oregon, OH 43616

Tickets | Single Day Pass: $8,  2-Day Package: $14,  3-Day Package: $19
VIP Passes also available for purchase for Thursday's VIP Kickoff and festival. 
Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
Click here to purchase all tickets in advance

Photos courtesy of GAF Society Facebook and Destination Toledo.